Hajj (Policing)

[Saudi policemen monitor screens connected to cameras set up at places around the holy city of Mecca. (R)]

Religion and high-tech surveillance. Visually, very cool. I found it at the English language website of the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi government mouthpiece, which I visit daily.  They’re intensely anti-Iran, anti-Assad…also critical of, but not hostile to both Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I think they are connected to the al-Arabiyah). Sometimes it’s good to get your news from “regional actors” who don’t really care all too much about Israel (a little, but not too much).  http://www.asharq-e.com/

I’m reminded by HR in the comments that “Saudi control of the Hajj is highly controversial, particularly given the fact that they have instituted requirements for women on the Hajj which are derived from the Saudi brand of Islam (Wahabism) and have no foundation in Islamic theology, history, or tradition.

But I don’t know. 3,000,000 people descend all of a sudden on a city to do exactly the same thing all at once. I think a little “rational control” is not out of order. I can’t see how you otherwise do it without massive risk to life and limb.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to Hajj (Policing)

  1. A very cool photo indeed! Although I would say two things: 1) I wouldn’t underestimate how much aSharq al-Awsat cares about Israel (although they, unlike some media outlets, are willing to put it on the back-burner when other issues arise), and b) Saudi control of the Hajj is highly controversial, particularly given the fact that they have instituted requirements for women on the Hajj which are derived from the Saudi brand of Islam (Wahabism) and have no foundation in Islamic theology, history, or tradition.

    Given that control, the ‘coolness’ of the photo is mitigated (thought not entirely!) by serious creepiness…

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